Is Lean Bad for You?


Lean, by whichever name, comes with dangerous side effects that could lead to addiction and eventual death. It contains codeine, which causes such side effects as seizures, slowed heart rate, hallucinations, blurred vision, shallow breathing and – in the worst case – death.

Understanding the harm caused by lean is important if you are looking to protect yourself. In this article, you will find more information about lean and its ingredients, as well as suggestions for healthier, safer, and less risky substitutes to this drink.

Lean FAQs

Q: What Ingredients Are In Lean?

A: Commonly referred to as purple drank and sizzurp, lean isn’t just bad for you – it is downright deadly. The main ingredients in each cup include jolly ranchers, cough syrup with promethazine and codeine, and soda.

Drinking lean, therefore, causes the following effects:

  • Constricted pupils
  • Poor response to light
  • Rough and raspy voice
  • Slow and slurred speech
  • Uncontrollable eye movement
  • Droopy eyes
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of coordination
  • Paleness
  • Constipation
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Dental problems
  • Addiction

Q: How Much Codeine Does Lean Contain?

A: One of the main ingredients in lean is codeine. This opiate is similar to Vicodin, Oxycontin, Morphine, and Heroin. As such, lean is the new heroin in the world of Hip Hope – not an attractive look if you’ve ever encountered a heroin addict in person.

A recent control study performed on 61 college-age students showed that most of the participants who received a codeine prescription from their doctors were happy with the prescription. This is because they could use the codeine and apply it to “cool” use by creating lean. This goes to show that lean is not only popular, people actually think highly of it. Surprisingly, very few find issues in using this drug.

In another longitudinal study performed in a local community, people filled out a survey detailing their use of lean and the effects they felt. The findings from the study showed that there was a direct correlation between codeine misuse (in the form of lean) and depression. Further, the study found that the drug was addictive and it caused dependence.

According to the official Addiction Centre website, the codeine found in lean is an opiate. As such, anyone who takes lean can easily build tolerance to the codeine and eventually become dependent on it. This is because opiates tend to be highly addictive. Other opiates you might know about include Morphine, Oxycontin, and Heroin.

Many people who use lean are unaware of how much codeine there is in the drink. They are also ignorant about the addictive properties of codeine since it is a commonly-prescribed drug.

Although codeine isn’t nearly as addictive as Heroin is, once you get hooked your withdrawal symptoms will be very similar to those observed in Heroin addicts.

The two active ingredients in lean are Promethazine and codeine. These central nervous system depressants will slow down your breathing, which is why you will get that good euphoria-like feeling when you drink purple drank. However, they can slow your system further down than you anticipated. In such a case, you will stop breathing altogether and die.

Actually, a survey conducted in 2006 found that 3.6% of the study participants in 8th grade abuse cough medicine to get the same effect that lean provides. In high school, the percentages were even higher – 5.5% among 12th graders and 5.3% among 10th graders.

Overall, however, a single serving lean contains about 4 teaspoons of cough syrup (which contains codeine and Promethazine). That is enough to get you addicted pretty fast.

Q: What Is The Healthiest Way To Drink Lean?

A: Seeing as how lean has grown so much in popularity, a number of companies have tried to create alternatives. Through these alternatives, you can easily drink lean in a healthy way.

The Innovative Beverage Group, for instance, create their own product which they called Drank. This product is designed to specifically emulate Purple Drank. Although it doesn’t contain codeine or Promethazine, it has a mixture of natural ingredients and herbs. As such, it is much safer than lean.

Therefore, if you absolutely have to drink lean, you should consider this alternative. It will give you that good feeling you are looking for but without any of the terrible side effects Purple Drank users suffer from.

How Does One Make Lean Without Codeine?

You can make your own lean without adding codeine. Consider the recipe below:

Alternative Lean Drink Recipe:

  • Fill a jar halfway with vitamin water and add Jolly Ranchers. Let it sit for around half an hour, shaking the mix occasionally
  • Add ice and 3 oz. of vodka into a Styrofoam cup
  • ​Add the vitamin water/Jolly Rancher mix into the cup and stir
  • ​Top it all off with Sprite and vitamin water before adding more Jolly Rancher candies
  • Drink

Best Alternatives to Lean

Apart from the recipe below, you can also buy lean alternatives from Amazon. Some of the best among these alternatives include:


Even as you ask “is lean bad for you?” you need to know that it is worse than bad – it is deadly. This is mostly because it contains codeine – one of the most addictive of drugs used as prescription medications in the form of cough syrup.

Although it is a known fact that some people abuse this drug, you shouldn’t be among them. To counter the side effects that lean causes, instead, you ought to get down to making your own healthy lean or reaching out for healthier alternatives from the marketplace.

Over and above everything else, therefore, understand that lean is dangerous. Mixing Promethazine with cough syrup enhances the potency of these two drugs. This combination also increases the dangers and negative side effects of lean. The best way to stay safe is to keep away from lean altogether. If you find this hard to do, buy a healthy alternative that won’t end up messing up with your system or killing you in the process.


  • Lana
  • March 11, 2017

I'm Lana, founder of Smart Health Kick. This is my blog was founded in November 2015 and Smart Health Kick dedicated to natural beauty, organic lifestyle, health, fitness, nutrition. I’ve furthered my knowledge so much on all areas of my blog, and hope that you enjoy reading the content just as much as I enjoy creating it!

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